Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Feeling Overwhelmed

You know those moments when you suddenly realise how many great books there are out there? And that there's no way you'll ever be able to read all of them?

That realisation just came crashing down on me.

How do y'all deal with that?

22 comments:

verbivore said...

I also think about this a lot. And what's worse, I start to think of all the books I actually want to re-read...that gets really overwhelming. How will I have time for new books let alone reread others!

Nymeth said...

I do have those moments, and not only about books - there are beautiful places in the world I'll never visit, wonderful people I'll never meet, great music I'll never discover, etc.

It can be quite overwhelming, yes. What I try to do is take a deep breath and think of two things:

One, that I will make the most of it for as long as I live. Two, that this also means that I will never run out of things to marvel at, be excited about, want to read/visit/meet7 etc. I will never tun out of things that make me glad I'm alive.

Lisa said...

I know exactly what you mean! I told my husband last night that I wished they'd stop publishing books for a year so I could catch up, and he thought I was insane.

Lisa the Librarian said...

I too know exactly how you feel. This thought is always on my mind as I choose the next book I want to read from the ever-increasing pile taking over my house. I want to read them all, but I feel like I have to choose wisely because I may never get to all of them. It's kind of crazy, I know, but I can't seem to help myself. In addition to reading, I am also an avid knitter. So, I am often torn between the two. I want to do it all. Darn it, why can't I clone myself?

Tara said...

I know exactly what you mean, and it's one reason I stopped reading books I'm not enjoying. There's too much to read, to read a book you don't like!

Em said...

It is overwhelming to look at all the books I have at home that I still need to read...but then again it's nice to know that I'll always have something for a rainy day. :-) And of course, the fact that I have a ton of books to read doesn't stop me from buying new books all the time! :-)

Andi said...

Oddly enough I usually streamline my TBR by tossing (trading, selling) those books that I bought once and now look back on and wonder, "What was I thinking?" That way I have only the best reading material stacked in front of me making me feel inadequate.

Imani said...

Very badly! Sometimes. It's worse with a blog, because there are books I want to spend more time with and post on, but then I think, naaah, I want to write on something else.

clairec23 said...

I try not to have that thought and I try not to waste too much time on books I don't like but alas, I also hold out, waiting for them to improve.

As someone else said, there are always books that you want to read twice too! I have a growing pile of unread books on my kitchen counter (I keep them there to remind me I haven't read them yet) and they are really starting to get in the way! Maybe I'm being too greedy...

Chris said...

I love Nymeth's comment and it's just about exactly how I feel. I do get overwhelmed about books sometimes. I have about 150 books sitting on my shelf right now to be read and another 150 on my Amazon wishlist...and there are countless more out there that I want to read. It is quite overwhelming to think that you may never get around to some of them, but like Nymeth said, look at as you'll always have something to look forward to reading! I usually find time for the ones that I REALLY want to read and I suspect that most people do the same. I totally understand your feelings though.

Nyssaneala said...

That overwhelming feeling happens to me, too. Usually it marks a time when I need to slowly step away from the TBR pile...and go do something else for a little while. :)

Petunia said...

It is indeed a depressing thought but the way I handle it is by making sure that I read the authors that I adore first. That's why right now I am concentrating on Edith Wharton. I never get tired of her and I want to make sure that I read all of her works. As you find new authors that you love make a note of it and look for those works. Then at least you know you will enjoy yourself even if you never get to everything out there.

Sam Houston said...

When that happens to me, I try to remind myself of the old days when I used to wonder what in the world I would read next. I actually used to run out of things that I wanted to read and would go for days without a book.

Those days are long gone, and I prefer being overwhelmed to running dry. Somehow, my long TBR list gives me great comfort.

Kristina said...

OMG! I think about this one all the time! I have a bookshelf that is so stuffed and overflowing that it's going to be a book room soon because of all the stacks on the floor beside the shelf. So, I was looking at it the other day, pondering my next read, and about flipped out on my husband. "How can there be so many books?" "How am I going to read all THESE, let alone the ones that keep coming out?" And the one I constantly think about is kinda silly...."where are all these books going to go if I die?" That's when my husband looks at me and says Just Quit Reading....I just look at him and say "Are you nuts?" Sometimes I just have to breath deeply when I walk by the book room!

Eva said...

Verbivore, I know how you feel, but I think rereads are important. Some books are just too special not to reread!

Nymeth, wow-thank you for your thoughts. They were very, very helpful. And beautiful. :)

Lisa, hehe-my problem is that I love all the classics too. So even no new books were published after tomorrow, I'd still be overwhelmed!

Lisa the Librarian, I like to crochet too-that's what audiobooks are for! :D

Tara, that's a very good point. I'm finally getting to the age that I feel ok if I put a book down. Before, I was complusive about finishing. Now, I'm getting a little better.

Andi, that's a good idea! Fortunately, I don't have tooo many TBR books at home; it's more my beautiful Excel sheet for TBR that mocks me. ;)

Imani, I agree. Sometimes, I'll go through my blog looking for my review of a book I loved and realise that I never got around to talking about it!

Claire, you're not too greedy. :D If your stack can fit on the kitchen counter, I'm sure you're fine!

Chris, I do make time for the ones on my short-TBR list. :D But half the time, I find a new favourite author, and then the TBR list gets even longer!

Nyssaneala, that's a good idea-taking a break. I like the 'slowly step away' part, hehe. It's hard!

Petunia, that's a great way to handle it! Sounds like your Edith Wharton is my Jane Austen (although she didn't write as much), and that's exactly who I turned to. :D

Sam, usually, my TBR list makes me feel happy too! Just for some reason, I had a mini panic attack.

Kristina, ohh-at least I'm not as morbid as you. :D Fortunately, I don't have too many in-the-flesh TBR books, but I can see the concern!

Shannon said...

I understand you perfectly, that’s the reason why I’m not a big rereader. Unless a book is part of a series and a new book is coming out in that series I almost never reread a book because there are just too many other books out there to read. Whenever I’m at the bookstore & I fell overwhelmed because there are just too many books I want, I just think about all the unread books I have at home, & I try to pry myself out the store & go home & grab one of the many books I say I’m going to read one day.

Possum Magic said...

I don't even have to think of all the books are out there.... just the stacks sitting on my bookshelves and in my cupboards are enough to worry me.

The Delinquent Debutante said...

i'm embarrased to admit that i currently have 24 books checked out from the library. and i am reading three of them right now, filled with a panic that they are all going to be due before i get a chance to read them all. the librarians always look at me a little funny when i go in there and take my 14 books off of the reserve shelf. i am sure they are thinking, "there's the girl with the weird last name that who makes us do so much work." by the way, love your website!

Nan - said...

This is something that gets worse as one gets older. Sometimes I wish I were one of those readers who just reads Wodehouse or Trollope, period. Instead of being who I am, someone who loves many types of books and authors. I think what I really, really must do is give more time to reading. I love to do it, but other things come between me and my books, and I must let some of them go. This is something I'm planning to write about on my blog birthday later this month. I love your blog, and found it via The Between-Place.

Carl V. said...

Whenever I think of that I decide that I'm going to be like Hob Gadling (a character in Neil Gaiman's Sandman) and just *choose* to live forever! ;)

Bold Blue Adventure said...

Yeah I totally know the feeling. There is a classic Twilight Zone episode where this gentleman who absolutely loves books (but wears thick, thick glasses and can't see without them) and is constantly prevented from reading them by his wife (I think). Anyhow there is a nuclear war and he emerges from a bomb shelter to find everyone else is gone, and now he has "time enough at last" to read all of his books. Then... his glasses fall off and break, and he gropes for them blindly, yelling "not fair... not fair!". A bookworm's hell, for sure. :-)

Bybee said...

I'm NOT going to be able to read EVERYTHING? Thanks a lot, Eva, you just spoiled my day. I suppose you're going to feed me some info about the Tooth Fairy next. Hmph.


lol
(Obviously, I haven't dealt with this well at all.)